The Science & Research Breakfast Seminar Series showcases excellence in research and development which is generating economic, environmental, social and technological benefits for New South Wales. The series will again feature some of the state’s best and brightest, and highlight its tremendous research strength across a diverse range of disciplines.
For more information, please call the Office of the NSW Chief Scientist & Engineer on (02) 9228 3940.
2023 Science & Research Breakfast Seminar Series
Wednesday 11 October 2023
Associate Professor Amy Cain
Mini-machines: How Microbial Genes Can Improve the World
Microbes are powerful mini-machines that thrive in the earth’s most extreme environments, ranging from volcanoes to ice-caves. Researchers are aware of their superpower capabilities but are only recently discovering how to harness and apply them. This includes potential benefits such as producing life-saving antibiotics, breaking down plastics and even reducing atmospheric CO2.
Amy argues the key to harnessing a microbe’s power is by understanding its genes. This is the focus of her research, which uses ‘functional genomics’ techniques to discover an individual gene’s role and then applying it to create ground-breaking biotechnologies. She says nature is smarter than we are and the challenge is to apply what has been happening in nature for billions of years to enhance everyday life.
In this seminar, Amy will discuss the broad uses of microbial genes, from breaking down shopping bags or old mattresses to understanding how microbes become resistant to antibiotics, helping in the fight against superbugs. She will also brief us on the Galleria Research Facility’s plastic-eating caterpillar program.
Join Associate Professor Amy Cain when she presents Mini-machines: how microbial genes can improve the world.
About the Speaker
Associate Professor Amy Cain, School of Natural Sciences, Macquarie University
Amy is an Australian Research Council (ARC) Future Fellow, Director of the Galleria Research Facility and an affiliate of the ARC Centre of Excellence in Synthetic Biology.
Her research is currently focused on building synthetic microbes that efficiently degrade various difficult-to-recycle plastics and developing new-to-nature antibiotics.
Amy established The Galleria Research Facility, an Australian-first initiative that provides an efficient and ethical way to effectively test new biotechnologies and drugs and help make them market ready.
She has also worked in academic groups, hospital labs and in the pharmaceutical industry across Australia, the UK, Malawi and in the USA.
The author of and contributor to some 70 publications, she has attracted more than $15 million in grant funding over the last five years. She holds many honours and awards, including the NSW Tall Poppy and the Australian Society for Microbiology’s Frank Fenner Awards.
Wednesday 16 August 2023
Professor Richard McDermid
Exploring Our Complex Cosmos with Next-Generation Telescopes in the Age of Data-Intensive Astronomy
THE VIDEO WILL BE AVAILABLE SHORTLY
Wednesday 14 June 2023
CEO, The Yield
Is Agriculture Ready for Artificial Intelligence?
Wednesday 10 May 2023
Professor Garry Myers
University of Technology Sydney
Synthetic RNAs for NSW and Australian Needs
Wednesday 1 March 2023
2022 NSW Scientist of the Year
Professor Glenda Halliday
The University of Sydney
Neurodegenerative Disease: Causes and Cures
2022 Science & Research Breakfast Seminar Series
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Distinguished Professor Michelle Leishman
Towards Nature - Smart Liveable Cities for the Future
Wednesday 19 October 2022
Chief Executive Officer, NextOre Pty Ltd
Australian Technology’s Role in Addressing the Environmental Impacts of Mining
Wednesday 17 August 2022
Dr Carl Seubert
Chief Research Officer, SmartSat CRC
Guiding the Trajectory of Australia's Space Technology
Wednesday 29 June 2022
Professor Judith Dawes
Photonics: Making Light Work
Wednesday 11 May 2022
2021 NSW Scientist of the Year Professor Jim Patrick AO
Cochlear and Macquarie University
The Cochlear Implant as a Treatment of Severe to Profound Hearing Loss
* Due to technical difficulties with the Parliament of NSW AV system, this video does not contain footage of the speaker, but rather the presentation slides and Professor Patrick's accompanying narration. We apologise for any inconvenience.